The US was Soviet Russia’s junior partner in the battle to defeat Nazi Germany. History taught US students otherwise. So do US presidents, Trump no exception.
In Colleville-sur-Mer, France, the Normandy American Cemetery, commemorating the 75th D-Day anniversary, launching the West’s long-delayed second front against Nazi forces while the main battle raged in the East, pitting millions of Soviet and German forces against each other, Trump pretended the US defeated the Nazi scourge the Red Army triumphed over.
Honoring about 10,000 lost lives on D-Day and its immediate aftermath, he ignored the catastrophic price paid by a generation of Soviet soldiers and civilians, 20 million or more lives lost.
A 1993 Russian Academy of Sciences study estimated 26.6 million. Some independent Russian researchers believe 40 million died – including combatants and civilians.
Millions more suffered serious injuries. Human misery endured can’t be quantified. Large parts of Russia were devastated.
Many years of rebuilding and recouping were required to return to normalcy. Americans can’t imagine what Russians endured.
The National WW II Museum indicates 407,000 US military deaths – around 671,000 others wounded.
War didn’t touch US soil. Americans old enough to remember recall minor inconveniences – including rationing of gasoline and other goods needed for the war effort.
Except for loved ones away at war, life was largely normal. Conflict raged out of sight and mind.
Annual commemorations of Victory Day in Moscow and elsewhere in Russia is special because of the unimaginable price paid by its people to achieve it.
In May 2015, on the 70th anniversary of what Russians call the Great Patriotic War triumph over Nazi Germany, Vladimir Putin commented on the hardships his family endured during the war.
Born in 1952 seven years after it ended, he said his “father did not like even to touch this topic,” adding he learned about the lessons of war from others sharing their memories.
During the war, his father sustained a severe leg injury but survived the conflict. His older brother died from diphtheria after being evacuated during the 872-day Nazi siege of Leningrad, one of the longest and most devastating in history.
Around double the number of lives were lost from starvation, untreated diseases, and other war-related causes than the total US death toll in WW II — against Nazi Germany, its European allies, and imperial Japan, an estimated 800,000.
Putin’s mother was close to death from illness when his father returned home at war’s end. He helped nurse her back to health.
Many of his relatives perished during the war, he said, including five of his father’s six brothers, his mother losing relatives as well.
The war was a disaster for his family, he explained. Millions of other Russians suffered the same way.
A personal note: Aged-five when war began in September 1939, on or around the day I began kindergarten, aged-10 when it officially ended in the Pacific in September 1945, I remember years of war well from daily radio broadcasts my parents and I listened to, including commentaries from noted journalists of that era, a far cry from war reporting today.
I remember minimal inconveniences of the time, including rationing of gasoline and other goods. Production of autos, metal appliances and furniture, as well as other consumer products was halted in 1942 through war’s end so plants could produce tanks, artillery, aircraft, and other weapons of war.
Dog food no longer was sold in tin cans. Buying a tube of toothpaste required turning in the empty one for recycling.
Ration stamps were required to buy limited amounts of staples taken for granted today. My parents’ 1939 Dodge auto was minimally used because of scarce availability of gasoline diverted for the war effort.
As a young boy, I barely noticed the inconveniences. Daily life seemed normal to me. My dad served in France during WW I. Many of my older male relatives were in WW II, none killed or injured during the war.
My best friend lost his older brother. My next door neighbors were holocaust survivors. When war ended, there was hope for a new enduring era of world peace.
It lasted until Harry Truman’s aggression against North Korea from June 1950 – July 1953, ending with an uneasy armistice unchanged to this day, US hostility persisting toward a nation never attacking another preemptively or threatening any now.
Instead of defeating the scourge of fascism in WW II, its headquarters was relocated from Berlin and Tokyo to Washington — with branch offices in European capitals, Tel Aviv, and elsewhere.
Like his predecessors and other US officials, Trump pretended the war was “not (waged) for control and domination, but for liberty, democracy, and self-rule” — polar opposite reality.
He turned truth on its head, calling “America…a noble nation… that inspire(s) the entire world.”
“(D)efend(ing) our way of life” is all about waging endless wars of aggression against nations threatening no one, what he failed to explain.
The first world war to end all future ones and misnamed “good war” that followed were warmups for decades of endless wars to follow.
They’re raging today in multiple theaters, plans for new ones drawn to be launched when or if ordered, along with color revolutions and old-fashioned coups to forcefully transform other nations into US client states.
Self-styled American exceptionalism and moral superiority don’t exist. The so-called “indispensable nation” represents the greatest threat to world peace and humanity’s survival.
Is another Great Patriotic War inevitable, next time to be waged with thermo-nukes and other super-weapons?
If things turn out this way, crossing a Rubicon of no return, we’ll all be doomed. That’s where things are heading if history repeats.
Humans may become the first species ever to destroy itself… ?
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Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.